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‘One Year Anniversary of Elephant’ with Siana Bangura and Special Guests
Thursday 18th May, 7pm

‘From Inside’ with Anthony Howell
Wednesday 31st May, 7pm

'Threads: From the Refugee Crisis’ with Kate Evans
Wednesday 7th June, 7pm

VETERANS FOR PEACE PRESENT: ‘Engagement, Disengagement and Resistance in WW1’  with Julian 'Guff' Putkowski
Monday 12th June, 7pm

‘After the Election – What now?’  a participatory discussion with Duncan Thomas of RS21, Kate Hudson of Left Unity and guest from Alliance for Green Socialism
Wednesday 14th June, 7pm

‘Bob Crow: Socialist, leader, fighter; a political biography’ with Gregor Gall
Wednesday 28th June, 7pm

LOCOMOTRIX POETRY EVENT: ‘Licentia’ live performance by A. A. Walker & music by Ozlem Simsek, with special guest Susana Medina
Thursday 29th June, 7pm

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We regularly have a variety of events in the shop, and are always welcome for suggestions from authors, artists and campaigners who want to use the shop for evening events. Past events include talks, book signings, film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances.

Click here for an archive; which includes a number of selected filmed highlights, of our previous events. Also, you can view video from some special events here.

Click the following button if you would like to directly add our events to your smartphone or desktop calendar using Google Calendar.

‘One Year Anniversary of Elephant’
with Siana Bangura and Special Guests
Thursday 18th May, 7pm
Special ticketed event: tickets available here

Poet in Residence Siana Bangura returns to Housmans to celebrate the one year anniversary of the publication of her award winning debut collection of poetry, Elephant. Special guests to be announced.

Earlier this year, Housmans was proud to announce our very first Poet in Residence as Siana Bangura.

Siana is a poet and founder of Intersectional Black Feminist Platform, No Fly on the WALL. As Housmans’ Poet in Residence, Siana celebrated the launch by reading from Elephant and outlining her plans for the residency. Her special guests included poet Aliyah Hasinah and signer songwriter Asabi Hawah. Aliyah performed her own poetry and Asabi provided an acoustic set for the evening.

Elephant tackles issues such as black womanhood, gender and racial politics, as well as family, fatherlessness, identity, Black British girlhood, unemployment, gentrification, disenfranchisement, love and loss.

As Poet in Residence, Siana will also curate three poetry workshops over an 8 month period, finalising in a closing event in October 2017 in which she will announce the next Housmans’ Poet in Residence. Further details can be found here.

We are delighted to welcome such a talented poet and committed activist and look forward to her events and workshops. Please follow Housmans and Siana on social media to keep updated with regards to the Poet in Residence events.


“[She] is one seriously amazing force to reckon with. This prolific blogger, spoken word artist, poet, writer and women’s right activist is more than just a cute face and fashionista – her lyrics run deep with meaning and touch a raw nerve that allows us all to connect with each other on the most simple, yet intricate level – as human beings. And then there’s her sweet and demure performance style that is captivating, simply allowing her words and unique flow to seep into her soul one minute and the next sweep you into into a hurricane of letters!” – Emma Ako, Carpe Diem Nights, September 2015

About the Poet

Siana Bangura is a writer, blogger, poet and freelance journalist from London. She is the founder of Intersectional Black Feminist Platform, No Fly on the WALL. She is the author of Elephant, a candid collection of poetry on black womanhood, black British identity, migration, love and loss; and she is the producer of 1,500 And Counting ( You can follow her on Twitter (@Sianaarrgh) and find out more about the project at

‘From Inside’
with Anthony Howell
Wednesday 31st May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

“In a sluggish society, as actual societies are, tradition is ever lapsing into superstition, and the violent stimulus of novelty is required.” - T.S Eliot

Housmans is very pleased to welcome poet Anthony Howell on the launch of his new collection of poetry, From Inside.

Howell makes no bones about aiming to jolt the listener with this violent stimulus
- his new collection of often uncomfortable poems. Chilcot, Arkan, Dick Cheney, the Middle East all find expression in these poems which take us beneath the external face of society. 

Howell taught in prisons until he was taken off the books for helping inmates write material the authorities deemed inappropriate. This experience informs the poems of From Inside. An incarcerated view and a criminal underworld get contrasted with an “overworld” of privilege and conspiracy. From Inside takes us beyond the pale of convenient mores, to lines which may have lost touch with decency.   


‘Howell has style to spare and is happily unclassifiable.’  - Peter Porter,  The Observer

‘So much good poetry that one is astonished that Howell’s name is not better known.’   John Greening, The Poetry Review

‘Curiously strong.’ - John Ashbery, The PN Review

‘It is possible to overstress the similarities between one writer and another.  Howell, however, courts such an approach - not because he is an emulator, rather that he is an eclectic original’ – Peter Reading, The Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Anthony Howell’s
first collection, Inside the Castle, came out in 1969.  In 1973 he was invited to participate in the Iowa International Writers Program.  In 1997 he was short-listed for a Paul Hamlyn Award. His versions of the poems of Statius were well received and those of Fawzi Karim were a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for 2011.  He was the founder of The Theatre of Mistakes and editor of Grey Suit: Video for Art and Literature.  His most recent book of poems is Silent Highway, Anvil 2014.

'Threads: From the Refugee Crisis’ with Kate Evans
Wednesday 7th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Kate Evans, creator of the smash-hit Red Rosa, presents Threads: From the Refugee Crisis, a heartbreaking, full-colour graphic novel of the refugee.

In the French port town of Calais, the historic home of the lace industry, a city within a city has arisen. This new town, known as the Jungle, is the home of thousands of refugees, mainly from the Middle East and Africa, all hoping, somehow, to get to the UK.

Into this squalid shantytown of shipping containers and tents, full of rats and trash and devoid of toilets and safety, the artist Kate Evans brought a sketchbook and an open mind. Combining the techniques of eyewitness reportage with the medium of comic-book storytelling, Evans has produced this unforgettable book, filled with poignant images—by turns shocking, angering, wry, and heartbreaking.

Weaving into the story hostile comments about the migrants from nativist politicians and Internet trolls, Threads addresses one of the most pressing issues of modern times—making a compelling case, through intimate evidence, for compassionate treatment of refugees and the free movement of peoples. Evans’s creativity and passion as an artist, activist, and mother shine through.


“Kate Evans is one of the most original talents in comics I’ve seen in a long time.” Steve Bell - The Guardian.

About the Author

Kate Evans is a cartoonist, artist, and activist. She is the author of numerous books and zines including Bump: How to Make, Grow and Birth a Baby and Funny Weather: Everything You Didn’t Want to Know about Climate Change but Probably Should Find Out.

‘Engagement, Disengagement and Resistance in WW1’
with Julian 'Guff' Putkowski
Monday 12th June, 7pm
Free Entry

Julian 'Guff' Putkowski tells the too often untold stories of WW1 soldiers collectivising and resisting the British warfare state...

Military historians have oversold working class enthusiasm for war. Seduced neither by recruitment propaganda and patriotic flummery, before the introduction of conscription economic imperatives prompted the rush to the colours. However, wartime engagement and volunteers’ deference to military authority was always qualified, and the Army employed coercion, bribery and censorship to quell dissent.

Nevertheless, soldiers sporadically engaged in collective bargaining throughout the war and the hundreds of thousands took part in post-war mutinies about tardy demobilization effectively challenged the warfare state.

The military authorities frequently gave way and in 1919 government capitulated but the latter simultaneously subverted development of political solidarity between soldiers, sailors, airmen and militant industrial workers.

Whilst mass disengagement was also influenced by a combination of anti-militarism and economic imperatives, recent debate also seeks to embrace individual acts of refusal akin to the behaviour of the anti-heroic and thoroughly bad soldier, Josef Schweik.

Great War 100th anniversarianism neglects rank and file resistance to authority but when resurrecting and parading the ghostly rebels and rascals, exactly who and what is to be celebrated?

About the speaker

Julian 'Guff' Putkowski has been a manual labourer, shop steward, community worker, adult education tutor, freelance journalist and university lecturer. Though biodegrading and more or less retired nowadays, it was as an active libertarian socialist fifty years ago that he began researching about discipline and dissent in the British Army during the First World War.

The latter interest animated but failed to sustain postgraduate studies but continued to be articulated in active support for the successful ‘Shot at Dawn’ pardons campaign and publications, including: (with Julian Sykes) Shot at Dawn (1989); The Kinmel Park Camp Riots, 1919 (1989); British Army Mutineers 1914-1919 (1998); Murderous Tommies (2012), co-authored with Mark Dunning, and contributions to Mutiny (Revolutionary History, vol. 8, No.2, 2002). He acted as consultant for the Monocled Mutineer TV series and a succession of other film and radio productions about military dissent.

Left Unity Present:
‘After the Election – What now?’
a participatory discussion with Duncan Thomas of RS21,
Kate Hudson of Left Unity and guest from Alliance for Green Socialism
Wednesday 14th June, 7pm
Free Entry

Left Unity invite you to join in the discussion of how best to respond to the election result.  Whatever the result there will be work to be done!

Left Unity is a political party formed in 2013 which stands for equality and justice and is socialist, feminist, environmentalist, anti-racist and against all forms of discrimination. It is affiliated with the Party of the European Left.

‘Bob Crow: Socialist, leader, fighter; a political biography’
with Gregor Gall
Wednesday 28th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Housmans welcomes Gregor Gall to the shop to introduce his new book on Bob Crow. Bob Crow was likely the most high-profile and militant union leader of his generation. This biography focuses on his leadership of the RMT union, examining and exposing a number of popular myths created about him by political opponents.

Using the schema of his personal characteristics (including his public persona), his politics and the power of his members, it explains how and why he was able to punch above his weight in industrial relations and on the political stage, helping the small RMT union become as influential as many of its much larger counterparts. 

As RMT leader, Crow oversaw a rise in membership and promoted a more assertive and successful bargaining approach. While he failed to unite all socialists into one new party, he established himself as the leading popular critic of neo-liberalism, “New” Labour and the age of austerity.


“In this well -written new biography Gregor Gall explains how and why Bob Crow achieved this fame. Central to Bob’s rise to power was the position of the RMT workers on the London Underground.” Bernadette Hyland, Lipstick socialist

“Gregor Gall’s biography does justice to Crow - the socialist, leader and fighter. He was a complicated figure and some of that complexity comes over in the book.”
Paul Salveson, Tribune - April 2107

“There’s a great exploration of the structures that Crow inherited, the limitations they placed on him and what he did to change the situation, thereby encouraging the development of the RMT on the trajectory that it became renowned for.”
Alan Crowe, Socialist Review May 2017

“The late leader of the small but politically important RMT union - a ‘Marxist Millwall supporter’, as the papers had it, and he was both; ‘the most hated man in Britain’, as some papers tried on, and he wasn’t - is well served by an account of his career set against informed analysis of 21st-century UK trade unions’ far-from-dinosaurish determination to grapple with changing workplaces, state rollback, electoral politics after Labour’s Blairite takeover, gender equity and globalisation. Gall is wary of the ‘great man’ approach, but wherever Crow’s own words appear, the tale shifts from scholarly grey to vivid, quotable, charismatic and quip-filled Red Flag red - and the words ‘great man’ look pretty spot on.” 

“As the first book about Bob Crow published since his untimely death three years ago, Gregor Gall’s political biography of Crow provides us with an opportunity to review his life and his time in the rail workers’ union NUR and its successor RMT, to highlight the key reasons for his effectiveness and impact, and to examine the limits of those.” Janine Booth, Solidarity Newspaper  

About the Author

Gregor Gall is Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Bradford.

live performance by A. A. Walker
& music by Ozlem Simsek, with special guest Susana Medina
Thursday 29th June, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

A. A. Walker gives a live performance of ‘Licentia’ with theremin and harp loops played by multi-instrumentalist, Ozlem Simsek. They are joined by guest, Susana Medina, author of ‘Philosophical Toys’, published by Dalkey Archive Press.

‘Licentia’ is a beguiling, haunting, erotic prose-poem, an ‘artefact of desire’ published by Thin Man Press. The theatrical and musical live performance gives the audience the poetic licence to take a psychedelic frolic through altered states and parallel realities, and immerse themselves in the wayward dreams and desires of characters and scenes from the fragmented narrative of ‘Licentia’.


Licentia – A. A. Walker

‘Imagination unbound, Licentia is the enemy of conformity. Read and be free. As intoxicating as a thousand years of incense and poppies; A. A. Walker has fulfilled the poet’s eternal calling.’ — Nina Antonia, music writer, author, ‘The New York Dolls – Too Much Too Soon’

‘I read Licentia as a poetic novel — A literary experiment in time and story. A. A. Walker has dexterously met the exciting challenge of expressing the inexpressible.’ — Thachom Poyil Rajeevan, poet, novelist, literary reviewer for ‘The Hindu’

Philosophical Toys – Susana Medina

‘A prose both spare and lush, a commendable tension about the enterprise.’ – Will Self

‘A shockingly beautiful innovative voice in which the sublime and laughter are perfectly matched.’ – Andrew Gallix

About the Performers

Written works by A. A. Walker have appeared in literary magazines and websites such as Great Works, Cauldron and Net, Muse Apprentice Guild, Prakalpana Literature, Carnivorous Arpeggio, Sidereality, and Plinth. He has produced literary and theatrical events and radio plays, and performed in independent films, TV shows, commercials and touring theatre productions.
Multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer, Ozlem Simsek, performed in opera and musicals from age 11. She studied harp at Istanbul University State Conservatory, sang in successful Turkish band, Tamburada, and worked as voiceover artist for TV and radio. Ozlem creates music for short film and animation and has collaborated with numerous artists, dancers and performance artists, including Fiona Banner and Viv Albertine.

Susana Medina is the author of Philosophical Toys, offspring of which are the short films Buñuel’s Philosophical Toys and Leather-bound Stories. Other books include Red Tales Cuentos Rojos (bilingual ed.)and Souvenirs del Accidente. She has been awarded the Max Aub Short Story International Prize, a Writing Grant from the Arts Council of England and ‘Poem 66,’ translated by R. Marteau, was the runner-up in Good Morning Menagerie Translation Contest and will be published in a bilingual ed. by the USA press in 2017.


Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross,
London, N1 9DX
tel: 020 7837 4473